John Derbyshire: How Did American Become A Lawless Nation? "Gradually, Then Suddenly"
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Yet more evidence, if more were needed, that we live in an increasingly lawless society showed up in New York City news outlets last week. Here's the story.

December 24th last year … sorry: 2019, December 14th 2019, in the Bronx, sixty-year-old Juan Fresnada was out walking with a friend when a group of teenagers attacked them. Fresnada was knocked to the ground, kicked, stomped on, and pounded with a garbage can. He died from his injuries three days later.

One of the teenagers, name of Jordon Benjamin, was arrested and charged with manslaughter. He seems to have been 15 at the time. He was held in a juvenile center, but freed in March by a judge of the Bronx Supreme Court, Justice Denis Boyle, as part of a policy prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. The authorities didn't want teenage muggers catching COVID-19—Heaven forfend!

So that was March this year … dammit, last year, 2020. Forward to December 14th. Apparently there had been no progress on the manslaughter charge. Jordon Benjamin had been roaming free since March. At this point in his roaming, December 14th, he encountered a young woman, Amya Hicks, and slashed her in the stomach.

Jordon Benjamin, now aged 16, was arrested three days later and charged with felony assault and attempted assault, and misdemeanor weapons possession. At his subsequent arraignment he was—wait for it: this is the punch-line—he was released without bail by that same judge. He's now strolling around the streets of the Bronx in freedom again.

The race angle here isn't hard to figure out. Justice Boyle is white; everyone else in the story is black. The pictures accompanying the news story don't show Amya Hicks, the girl who got slashed; but there's an interview with her mother, whose name is Tynisha Smith and whose age is given as 33. We don't know Amya's age, but presumably she's at least a coeval of Jordon's, so her Mom's was a teen pregnancy.

We're down among the black underclass here. That means the killing of Mr. Fresnada and the slashing of Ms. Hicks are your fault, Whitey. It's only right and fair that little Jordon is out free.

That seems to be the approach taken by the authorities, anyway. I'll leave you to play the head games about what would have followed if Jordon Benjamin had been white, with the same black victims.

This was just an inside-page story in a local newspaper. It goes with so many other things, though: the coddling of illegal aliens, the legalization of shoplifting in California, the free pass usually given to Antifa and BLM rioters, …

How did we become such a lawless nation? The same way the guy in Ernest Hemingway's book said he'd gone bankrupt, I guess: "Gradually and then suddenly."

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